Talking books seem like a great way to occupy our girls.
Perhaps, like us, you are coming to the end of a long summer break. Maybe you already ventured out and sat for long hours on a road trip. Or maybe you didn’t venture out and just sat for long hours. Maybe you are still dreaming of sitting peacefully lakeside while reading a book. I have that reoccurring dream often! Unfortunately, sometimes unplanned hours of quiet time (whether at home, in the van, or by a body of water) can feel like torturous monotony to our daughters affected by disability. I am always seeking ways to help occupy their time. This is how I became interested in the National Library Service for the Blind and physically handicapped and their program to borrow talking books.
In a nutshell, this is a free library service to those who need assistance to read.
This difficulty may be due to blindness or physical disability that make reading regular print material a hardship. Once forms are filled out and approved, braille or audio book readers are provided. In fact, Magazines and music instruction are also available resources. Pretty cool!
It was overall an easy process to apply for the talking books.
It is easy to see if you are eligible:
The following persons are eligible for the free library service:https://www.benefits.gov/benefit/753
Blind persons whose visual acuity, as determined by competent authority, is 20/200 or less in the better eye with correcting lenses, or whose widest diameter of visual field subtends an angular distance no greater than 20 degrees.
Other physically handicapped persons are eligible as follows:Persons whose visual disability, with correction and regardless of optical measurement, is certified by competent authority as preventing the reading of regular printed material.
Persons certified by competent authority as unable to read or unable to use regular printed material as a result of physical limitations.
Persons certified by competent authority as having a reading disability resulting from organic dysfunction and of sufficient severity to prevent their reading printed material in a normal manner.
Eligible readers must be certified as eligible by a competent authority (see http://www.loc.gov/nls/eligible.html) and must be residents of the United States, including the several states, territories, insular possessions, and the District of Columbia; or, American citizens domiciled abroad.
The form itself arrived quickly in the mail and was relatively short to fill out. It included questions of topical interests so they could send appropriate books geared for out daughters. We had a teacher fill out the area that required documentation that the person does indeed qualify for the service. Again, it was a short easy form so I didn’t feel bad asking her to do that.
Within no time the equipment and talking books arrived!
The directions were easy to follow and the equipment worked just fine! I hoped the girls would love listening to the stories, maybe even as a bedtime routine!
Unfortunately, within a few months we ended the service and returned the talking books. Here’s why:
IPads. If you’re my age you may remember when you stopped using a cassette player and cassettes and only bought CDs. This had a similar feeling. The girls had no interest in using the clunky material when they have their IPads available to them all day…with all the reading material, Youtube videos, podcasts and free downloads. At this point on earth there is more material on the web than we could ever finish.
Speaking of unending, the materials came constant and frequent. As someone who hates piles it soon overwhelmed me.
When we saw a table for this service at an Expo I soon realized we needed to return our players (sitting in a pile gathering dust) so that they’d be freed up to offer to others who may get more benefit from them.
I am curious, though, if someone with a physical disability has found them to beneficial. I would love to hear your experience in the comments!